UNC Football: Update on Class of 2018 targets

TALLAHASSEE, FL - OCTOBER 01: Head coach of the North Carolina Tar Heels Larry Fedora watches his team before the game against the Florida State Seminoles at Doak Campbell Stadium on October 1, 2016 in Tallahassee, Florida. (Photo by Jeff Gammons/Getty Images)
TALLAHASSEE, FL - OCTOBER 01: Head coach of the North Carolina Tar Heels Larry Fedora watches his team before the game against the Florida State Seminoles at Doak Campbell Stadium on October 1, 2016 in Tallahassee, Florida. (Photo by Jeff Gammons/Getty Images) /

The latest on some key targets in UNC’s 2018 football recruiting class

Larry Fedora and his staff were able to sign the majority of their 2018 football recruiting class during the Early Signing Period just a few weeks back.

With February’s signing period approaching, Fedora is hoping to reel in a few more recruits to his top 40 class.

After a dismal year for the Tar Heels in 2017, this is one of the most important recruiting classes for Fedora in his tenure at UNC.

The Tar Heels are still in the running for several of their top targets on the recruiting board and are hoping to at least get some good news on one, if not all of them.

With high school showcase games taking place, recruits have discussed the latest on their recruitment.

Dax Hollifield

The Tar Heels received the news on Sunday that linebacker Andre Smith would forgo his eligibility at UNC and instead enter the 2018 NFL Draft.

With Smith’s decision, the Tar Heels lose one of their best players on defense. Defensive back M.J. Stewart is graduating this year so the Tar Heels lose arguably their two most important players on that side of the ball.

Recruiting defense has now become a big priority for Fedora. It didn’t help that four-star linebacker Payton Wilson decommitted from the program and signed with rival NC State.

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Fedora was able to land another linebacker recruit in three star recruit Kyle Wright.

But with Smith gone, that opens up another spot for a player like Hollifield to step in and play right away. He had some interesting thoughts on the Tar Heels in an interview with Scout’s Steve Wiltfong.

Hollifield is still considering UNC and is expected to make a decision after his visit to Stanford in January.

He revealed that the Tar Heels want him to visit in January and take in some basketball games at the Dean Dome per Rivals. Hollifield doesn’t know if he has the time to make it there due to his schedule.

The recruit also mentioned that Clemson is making a very late push for Hollifield as close friend and Tigers recruit K.J. Henry is helping the cause.

Will the Tar Heels be able to swing the momentum and land Hollifield? Stay tuned.

William Barnes

Another top target for the Tar Heels is offensive tackle William Barnes. The Florida product is a four-star recruit and the fifth-best offensive tackle in the class according to 247 Sports.

While the Florida Gators are the rumored favorites for Barnes, the Tar Heels continue to make a strong push.

Barnes just set a visit to Auburn as the Tigers are hoping to sway the prospect away from Florida and North Carolina. He will visit Auburn on Feb 3. and has a visit set to UNC on Jan. 12.

Those are currently his only two visits set.

Barnes will make his announcement on National Signing Day on Feb. 7 and many believe that it’s a two-team race between UNC and Florida. The Gators have the slight edge but UNC could do enough to sway him.

Jordyn Adams

Adams is already signed to UNC’s 2018 class and is their top committed prospect.

But there’s a developing story with his baseball career.

The recruit signed to play both football and baseball with the Tar Heels, something that wasn’t a problem with either coach. There has been a big excitement level for Adams arriving on campus and showcasing his skills.

He might not get the chance to, however.

There’s a scenario where Adams could not play football or baseball at North Carolina. He’s considered to be one of the better baseball recruits in the country and could be selected high in the 2018 MLB Draft.

Barton Simmons of 247 Sports wrote about Adams, saying he still plans on playing both football and baseball at UNC.

But he also mentions there’s a scenario where Adams goes pro in baseball and signs with the organization that drafts him.

"Adams and his family are working with an advisor that is helping them navigate what to expect from the draft and what that could mean in terms of contracts and opportunities. While Adams plans on playing college football and wants to play college football, he does admit that a scenario exists that would see him in a baseball uniform next fall rather than a football one."

Right now, there’s no reason to panic for Tar Heels fans. However, the talk of Adams going pro in the MLB Draft is something to think of.

The more there’s a possibility he goes high in the draft, the likeliness of him going pro happens.

The Tar Heels really can’t afford to lose Adams as a recruit, especially in the middle of trying to turn this program around.

Next: What does the John Fox firing mean for Mitchell Trubisky?

It is something to monitor.